Yordenis Ugas didn’t get much help from the three judges in his latest victory in the ring, though he did his part to deliver a much-needed win for the Fox Sports family.
A special Sunday evening edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox averaged 1,019,000 viewers over the course of the 156-minute telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research. The show was headlined by Ugas’ strangely-scored split decision win over Abel Ramos in their secondary welterweight title fight, which peaked at 1,260,000 viewers at the 10:00-10:15pm ET block, towards the end of the 12-round main event.
Both figures land as the most watched boxing event this summer and the best-performing boxing telecast on any network since the March 7 edition of PBC on Fox—the last PBC show to air on any platform prior to the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The show enjoyed a 22% improvement overall from the preceding August 29 PBC on Fox show, which averaged just 833,000 viewers. That show was headlined by Erislandy Lara in a 12-round win over Greg Vendetti to defend a secondary junior middleweight title, which peaked at just 1,067,000 viewers.
The September 6 show marked the fourth PBC on Fox event to air live in primetime since the pandemic, along with being the lone card to air on a Sunday night. Its ratings performance is further magnified by airing on a busy sports night, going head-to-head with the NBA and NHL Playoffs on ABC and NBC, respectively.
Ugas (26-2, 12KOs) appeared in his third Fox headliner. The 34-year old from Miami by way of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba dropped a tightly contested 12-round split decision to Shawn Porter in their welterweight title fight last March. The show averaged 2,142,000 viewers and peaked at 2,197,000.
Two years prior, Ugas came up aces in a 10-round victory over Thomas Dulorme in an August 2017 main event which averaged 2,436,000 viewers. The show aired as a special televised preliminary card to Floyd Mayweather’s final career fight, a 10th round knockout of Conor McGregor atop the second highest grossing Pay-Per-View event in boxing history.
Ugas outperformed both Porter and Dulorme this summer, though aided in part by a new ratings measure as Nielsen has begun including out-of-home (OOH) viewership beginning September 1.
Porter—a former two-time welterweight titlist from Las Vegas by way of Akron, Ohio—outpointed Germany’s Sebastian Formella on the August 22 PBC on Fox card, with the main event peaking at 1,225,000 viewers and averaging 1,077,000. Eerily similar numbers came of Puerto Rico’s Dulorme’s 12-round loss to Minnpeapolis’ Jamal James on the August 8 summer season premiere of PBC on Fox whose bout averaged 1,077,000 viewers and peaked at 1,224,000.
Ramos (26-4-2, 20KOs) appeared in his first PBC on Fox headliner, though making his second straight network appearance. The 29-year old contender from Casa Grande, Arizona scored a literal last-second stoppage of Bryant Perrella in a supporting bout on the February 15 PBC on Fox telecast headlined by super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant, with the overall show averaging 1,441,000 viewers during a healthier televised market.
Prior to Sunday’s show airing in primetime, came a preliminary undercard event which aired live on FS1. The three-fight show averaged 152,000 viewers—up 28% from the 119,000 average for all four PBC on FS1 shows this summer. The prelim portion peaked at 186,000 viewers from 7:15-7:30pm ET, as part of Cody Crowley’s 10-round unanimous decision win over Josh Torres in the telecast’s main event.
The next primetime edition of PBC on Fox is due to take place November 7, although the main event has yet to be established. PBC on FS1 will return on September 26, again with the card details to be announced in the near future.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox